One of the early businesses to rent accommodations to friends of shacktenters and other tourists was Waskesiu Bungalow Cabins and Store, built in 1932 by partners J. W. Mcdermid and Rae Manville. The number of cabins was increased in 1946 to meet the increased visitation after World War II ended. Each one of the small, tidy cabins was named for a province or state shown by a sign over the door.
Many visitors returned year after year and would book their favourite cabin by name, asking for “Montana” or “New Brunswick” for example. This tradition was continued when the business later sold and became known as Baker’s Bungalows.
Many regular renters have summer memories of Waskesiu similar to those of the shacktenters. For example, one extended family, the Whites, rented several of these white cabins along the lake front for a couple of weeks each summer for decades. They can be seen in the photo above with a large Manvilles sign. This wooden sign measures four feet by four feet and is made of 3/4 inch plywood. The sign, now very weathered, was abandoned on the grounds around the cabins when the name changed. When they uncovered it, the White family donated it to the museum with the present owner’s permission.
The smaller metal sign, saying Office and Cabins, used to be in front of the cabin office and store, was donated to the museum by Real Robin, the owner in 2005 when the museum was founded.
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